New Law Will Boost Access to Psychology Services

HARRISBURG – A new law authored by Senator Judy Ward (R-30) will expand Pennsylvanians’ access to psychology services by allowing telepsychological practice across state lines.

Act 19 of 2020 will allow Pennsylvania to join the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT), which is already authorized by 12 other states. The law allows licensed psychologists to apply to practice telepsychology and conduct temporary in-person, face-to-face practice in other states in the compact.

Each state has its own set of laws governing the practice of psychology, making it extremely difficult for a psychologist to obtain a license to practice in several states. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards developed PSYPACT to improve patient access to services by removing red tape that prohibits psychologists from serving patients across state lines.

“This new law is a major victory for patients who rely on psychology services, especially in rural areas where access to care is a serious concern,” Ward said. “Even after the pandemic is over, there will still be a great need for these services. I am grateful that we are able to offer this lifeline to ensure more patients can get the help they need.”

Marie C. McGrath, Ph.D., President of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, noted that PSYPACT “will increase the availability of treatment for those who live in areas of the state with relatively few providers, provide continuity of care for individuals who wish to continue therapy while traveling out of state for work or school, and facilitate emergency provision of services by qualified professionals during times of crisis. We thank Senator Ward and her colleagues in the General Assembly for their support of this legislation, which holds tremendous potential for enhancing Pennsylvanians’ access to psychological services.”  

Twelve other states have already passed laws to join PSYPACT.


CONTACT:  Cheryl Schriner (717) 787-5490

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